|No beauty in decay|
There is no beauty in decay. There is no joy in death. There will be no peace until Aram is dead.|
We found Aringil, suspended in the tree like a sausage hung up in a butcher's yard. Though we found dozens more Elves strung up in the webbing, only Aringil had survived. When he was well enough to speak, he related to us that the tree itself had formed part of the decor surrounding the Palace Of The Sun, that it had been moved here after Aradhrath sealed the Palace away.
What the dryad of the great tree revealed to us was that the Palace Of The Sun effectively did not exist on this plane, and the only way to travel to it was in the company of the current ruler or heir to the throne of Tel-Tenauril. Although I wasn't aware of any living heirs to the throne, someone else did, and just that quickly we were discussing how to locate this Suzara
Jacques made mention of the fact that he had once met the object of our new search in a druid grove surrounded by brambles. It was not very difficult to remember that the place we had camped at after the debacle at Enroth in the mirror world was just such a grove as was being described. Off we went, propelled by some druidic spell that allows movement from one tree to another, apparently regardless of distance.
Meeting her was hardly a pleasant experience. She was half-Elven, which immediately sent my mind spinning off to all the difficulties that would crop up should she ever decide to make a claim to the throne. The brightest of those envisioned possibilities was civil war. She was also not exactly enthusiastic about the idea of helping us. 'Twould seem she has a bit of a chip on her shoulder that she was just begging to have knocked off. After a few minutes of bickering, she made it quite clear that we were free to spend the night, but she would expect us gone in the morning.
She wandered off, ostensibly to see to some other guests, so of course Anwar and Dolartu felt the need to spy on her and her other guests. I let them go, and set to planning how we might thump her, truss her, and haul her back to the dryad and show her what was what, when Anwar came barrelling out of the trees as though the hounds of hell were chasing her. The reality wasn't much better.
From the moment she began blithering, I knew the outcome would be bad. It only took the words Aram and Thanthaelor in the same sentence to send Jacques dashing, for fear that his onetime mentor was in danger. Certainly we never had the chance to try to explain what we'd discovered regarding Thanthaelor in the alternate world, so we were left with little choice but to hare off after him.
Just before I died at the rotting, putrid hands of Aram's cast-off body, I was struck by the irony of how little my friends seem to regard my word.
The next thing I remember was waking up amongst a pile of what used to be that body, and I'm supposing my own rotted flesh. It hurt to speak, to move, to do just about anything except curse the foolishness that brought me here and the ignominy of my death. And my subsequent resurrection. It was lucky I was brought to when I was, however, because I received a message from Arangil stating that we were to meet him in Celembril on a matter of urgency regarding my family.
I managed to croak out that word, and I'm sure with everyone walking on thin glass around me for fear of my resurrected ire, we were soon in Celembril. After a bit of staggering, I found out in short order that: a) my sister, Emlan, my closest confidante of childhood, is apparently hot under the shift for none other than Teravus; b)I find myself in total, complete agreement with Arilyn for perhaps the third time, i.e. "Ew"; and c) Elana is somewhere in Argusund, held prisoner by Iarond.
|Associated Regions: Caer Airbhe-Fál, Celembril|
|From the journal of Islan Diemyn|
Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz